The Program Committee plans and coordinates the program for the Annual Meeting of the College.
Chair: Letitia Sullivan, CNM; Chair-elect: Pamela Reis
A Look inside the ACNM Program Committee
By Pamela Reis, CNM, NNP-BC, PhD, FACNM
(ACNM Program Committee Chair-Elect) and Letitia Sullivan, CNM, MS, FACNM (ACNM
Program Committee Chair)
The purpose of
the ACNM Program Committee (PC) is to help plan, coordinate, and evaluate the
educational content of the Annual Meeting of the College. The PC also
coordinates the Annual Business Meeting.
The Annual Meeting involves the ongoing and coordinated efforts of the
ACNM Board of Directors (BOD), ACNM staff, the contracted meeting planners, the
PC members, and vendors for services related to the Annual Meeting.
The activities of the PC members are
explained in the PC’s Standing Rules of Procedure. The PC Chair is responsible
for coordinating the activities between the National Program Committee, the
local program committee, the National Headquarters staff, and those designated
and/or contracted individuals assisting with the annual meeting planning and
oversight. The responsibilities of PC members include, but are not limited to
planning, soliciting, reviewing, selecting, and coordinating the educational
portions of the annual meeting. They may provide assistance to speakers and
members attending workshops, educational sessions, and business meetings.
All PC members are volunteers, including the Chair. The PC Chair is
appointed by the ACNM President with approval from the BOD and must be an
active member of ACNM who has demonstrated leadership ability and knowledge of
ACNM organization, philosophy, purpose and function. The Chairperson should
have served a minimum of two years as a member of the National Program
Committee prior to being appointed chair.
The PC Chair-Elect is appointed by
the ACNM President by April the year before assuming office and must meet the
qualifications to be appointed Chair. The Chair, Chair-Elect, and PC members
are appointed to 3-year terms and may be reappointed for an additional 3-year
term. The PC ad-hoc members’ terms are based on their roles within the
volunteer structure and their responsibilities for the Annual Meeting.
PC members must be Active, Associate, or
Student members of ACNM. They must be able to participate in committee
meetings, attend conference calls, and be present at the Annual Meeting. All member of the PC are required to adhere to
conflict of interest confidentiality requirements.
PC members are appointed by the Chair with consideration for the
§ 2 members-at-large are appointed with consideration for geographical
§ One representative is from the midwifery military community.
§ nOne representative has experience working with vulnerable
§ One representative has experience in out-of-hospital birth.
§ Several ad-hoc members also participate on the PC such as the local
committee members, the ACNM BOD Liaison who is appointed by the ACNMPresident as
a non-voting member, the student representative to the ACNM BOD, and ACNM staff
members, as determined by the ACNM Executive Director, who serve as advisors and
are involved with event coordination, special events, space allocation, and
other relevant issues.
Annual Meeting Program
Abstracts are submitted by authors to a specific track and are
reviewed by PC members representing each track. For each track there is a track
Chair. Track chairs have experience in the track for which they are
responsible. Each chair is responsible for working with members of the track to
review abstracts designated within the track and for special programming (such
as invited speakers for special topics) within the track.
The abstract tracks are as follows:
Premier Session Speakers
BOD directive to the PC, the PC Chair issues the call for the Opening General
Session and plenary speakers. This is mandated to take place within 30 days of
the ending of the current annual meeting.
Everyone is notified of the call via ACNM electronic notification from
the national office. The final section is thoroughly vetted taking into
consideration the speaker’s experience, alignment of the topic with the
College’s mission, vision, and strategic plan, membership requests, and fiscal
responsibility. The final selection process rests with the ACNM President, ACNM
Executive Director, PC Chair, and the meeting consultant who has the expertise
to effectively negotiate fiscally responsible contracts with the speakers’
bureau who may be representing the speaker. The ACNM meetings manager is
responsible for coordination of the final communication with the selected
The PC meets monthly via telephone conference. The work of the PC
and our meeting structure has undergone considerable change during the past
year due to ACNM realignment of finances and National Office structure. In 2016
we were tasked to hold, for the first time, a virtual annual meeting planning
session instead of face-to-face as in the past. This meeting format will
continue in 2017 as we prepare for the 2018 Annual Meeting. While challenging,
virtual meetings do incur far less expense and can be productive with the use
of innovative technologies and electronic platforms. The Annual Meeting
planning session is a complex and labor-intensive process. PC members are
responsible for mapping out the entire Annual Meeting program which includes
placing accepted abstracts and poster sessions in the proper time slot,
allocating room space, determining whether or not presentations should be
repeated based on popular demand, identifying gaps in content for which invited
speakers can be solicited, and determining whether or not the schedule aligns
with member evaluations and feedback from the prior Annual Meeting.
program is similar to a tapestry in progress with many fluid parts being fitted
together to ensure a successful meeting.